A new $75-million NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund will provide no-interest loans to human services and arts and culture nonprofits in New York City as they face unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications open today (March 23).
The fund, backed by some 20 New York City-based funders and foundations, is hosted by New York Community Trust and administered by the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF). Priority will be given to nonprofits addressing essential healthcare and food insecurity as well as arts and culture.
New York City-based nonprofits that receive state or city funding are eligible to apply for a loan if they:
- Have annual, non-governmental revenue of $20 million or less;
- Receive New York City or New York State government funding; and
- Have “a track record of delivering effective programs and services equitably for New York residents.”
Loans will range from $250,000 to $3 million and can be used for a variety of purposes, including covering delays in government payments for services delivered, postponed fundraising events, and increased expenses to deliver services which will be reimbursed in the future.
The fund will provide grants and no-interest loans for needs, including:
- Unrestricted, flexible funding to support new and emergency needs and meet community demands, particularly for service offerings outside normal operations required to respond to social distancing, isolation and quarantine;
- Technology to support remote work and services – laptops and remote calling capacity for staff, securing staffing and training to fulfill their mission;
- Temporary staff support to cover for shortages caused by employees who are ill, may have to quarantine, or stay home to care for family members or children during school closures;
- Equipment and supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and cleaning supplies;
- Additional cleaning services to augment in-house operations; and,
- Support to aid the loss of operational revenue from facility closings, cancelled programs, events, etc.
An advisory committee of leaders in public health, community development, and the arts will help guide the new fund. The New York Community Trust will continue to solicit donations from foundations, corporate partners, and individuals committed to the health and well-being of New York City. Donors to the fund are committed to an expedited process for decisions and payment of funds to recipient organizations.
Financial losses for arts organizations to date are estimated to be $3.2 billion nationwide, according to Americans for the Arts. More than nine out of 10 arts organizations surveyed indicated they have canceled one or more events. Many organizations have closed their doors for months, more than a third expect to make reductions in staff, and 26 percent already reduced their creative workforce.
New York’s Metropolitan Opera cancelled all performances through the end of the 2019-20 season, which would have ended May 9. The largest performing arts organization in the United States, by budget, the opera laid off all of its union employees for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, NPR reported.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it will remain closed at least through April 4 and all programs and events have been canceled through May 15.